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When you tell people you go to Hampshire, you get one of three response: 1) "Hamster?" 2) "That's that hippie school with no ...
When you tell people you go to Hampshire, you get one of three response: 1) "Hamster?" 2) "That's that hippie school with no grades or tests, right?" or 3) "Hampshire is that really innovated self structured school". With a new President, Hampshire has been moving away from its hippie roots and moving more mainstream making it more accessible for general America to accept Hampshire's unorthodox academics. And Hampshire's reputation continues to grow in a positive way. Being young, established in the 1970s by the 4 other colleges in the area (Amherst, UMass, Holyoke, and Smith), Hampshire had some great infant years, got past the terrible toddler years, and is growing up into a respectable college with an innovated academic structure. Even though it is a small school with a student body of around 1400 (and rising each year with its growing popularity), Hampshire is located in Amherst, a true and lively college town, with over 30,000 college students in the area due mostly to UMass's large student body. Plus, the city-like Northampton is just around the corner thanks to the free bus systems that connects all the schools and top hot spots. There is plenty to do, plenty to eat, and plenty of people to meet.
Hampshire is located between Holyoke and Smith College. Both are girls cool. One with more lesbians than the other, but the saying goes: "Holyoke to bed, Smith to wed". However, with a small alum base to begin with and most alums choosing career paths that aren't fiscally viable, Hampshire College struggles financially
Hampshire is a very liberal school, but it is a real school. No grades and no tests means you are evaluated on the work you produce. If you don't produce work or lousy work, you get a bad evaluation. If you do work your work, if you try your best, your hard work will be reflected in your evaluation. An evaluation says more about you than a simple letter grade. Yes we have potheads, but I challenge you to find a school that doesn't. We also have hipsters, preps, and even republicans.
Student and professor relationships are very intimate and on a first name basis. Because class sizes are small and it's easy to request one on one face time with a professor, it is nearly impossible to hide in the back of the class, mainly because their is no back. Most Hampshire classes take place in seminar form, seating situated in a circle, encouraging the exchange of ideas. Most of the classes at Hampshire deal with topics that are very sensitive and/or controversial leading toward polar views on the issues discussed. This creates heated but constructive debate in classrooms that then make their way to the library lawn and dining commons. Many don't understand how a college or academic environment works without grades or tests, but Hampshire students flourish in the educational setting that forces you to present yourself, your thoughts, your work. Hampshire college students are competitive in a more well rounded sense then those students who are simply competing for the best grade. Even though Hampshire students are evaluated on paper by their professors, students most constructive and passionate critiques come from their peers. This respectful peer to peer critique enables students to encourage only the best work from each other.
Hampshire is just a bunch of rich liberal kids doing whatever they want. It's not a real school. They don't take test or have grades. It's a slackers school perfect for potheads.
My favorite thing about Hampshire is the lack of tests and grades and the freedom of educational choices. I am a terrible tes...
My favorite thing about Hampshire is the lack of tests and grades and the freedom of educational choices. I am a terrible test taker. I just don't do well and I freeze up, thus having classes that are evaluated instead of tested and then stamped with a letter grade works really well for me. Evals can tell you and the real world full of careers just where weak or really strong points are unlike one single B or D etc. I get really frustrated with some of the requirements and the lack of communication here however. One of Hampshire's biggest selling points is the "create your own major" idea. THAT part is completely true. You can basically do whatever you want, but what they don't tell you is that you have to take a LOT of classes that can frequently feel like a waste of time. There's a lot of red-tape and bureaucracy at this school that can be easy to work with as long as you ask a LOT of questions. Even if you don't know what to ask, just talk to your adviser or the people in Central Records about requirements and what needs to be done when. With this self-motivating school comes a lot of responsibility. I really enjoy the size of the school. There are approx. 1,300 students which for me is perfect. I came from a 500 student high school so this is great. Amherst and North Hampton are nice towns, but there isn't always a lot to do... You kind of have to do some searching and find out what you enjoy in the area. There's a mall and some plazas, some parks, out door mini-golf and driving range (but that's seasonal) and North Hampton has a nice feel with a lot of fun, trendy stores. There's also different stuff in the surrounding areas (the Holyoke Mall, for example, is massive).
Hampshire is a predominately Caucasian campus, but it is open to all people. There are a lot of students of color, but there are more white students. I know people of all religions (although there seem to be a lot of Jewish folks), ethnicities & races, genders (male, female, gender queer, undecided etc), races, economic backgrounds, sexualities (it seems like at least half the campus is bisexual or pansexual, but there is a large queer AND straight crowd) etc. I think the only kind of person that would feel out of place here was someone filled with hate. There are some conservative people who attend and even if they don't agree with any economic and social thoughts of anyone else, most people here just want to make friends. You see people come into class wearing very, very little to, barefoot folks, dressy people, people all in black, people dressed casually in jeans and folks with mohawks. It really varies. A lot of Hampshire students are from Massachusetts and New York. I think that's where I see most people coming from. But we also have a lot of international students and people from other states as well. People are very politically aware. I watch the news regularly with me house mates and we like to keep on top of the political debates (especially for this up and coming presidential election). They like to being active in activism and make a difference both on campus and off campus.
It's a college. You're going to find people of all types here. Yes for the most part there are a lot of very liberal individuals, there are some drugs on campus, but that's unavoidable period. Overall most people here are pretty friendly and you're going to meet people like you at any college. It attracts all kinds.
Professors here for the most part, are fantastic. Almost every teacher I've had has been very personable and interested in YOUR work and how you're doing in classes. I refer to all of my teachers by first name and it's easy to get close with them. Most classes are generall 10-15 students in size, but rarely you'll find a class with (at MOST) 35-40 people. My smallest class had 6 students in it and it was a theatre design class so the small size made our discussions great and indepth. Hampshire doesn't really have generic classes. Because we don't have to fulfill things like "psych 101" or "writing 101" we have really odd classes to fulfill requirements. In the first year 8 classes need to be taken. 3 can be extracurriculars, but the other 5 need to be one social science, one cognitive science, one natural science, one interdisciplinary art, and one humanities arts and culture course. So we have weird classes like "Little Course of Horrors; The Psychology of Humor and Horror in Theatre." The requirements can be a big pain. Some of them are without a doubt a GIANT waste of time, but they're not going to change too soon so it all depends on how dedicated you are. One of the biggest issues people have with Hampshire is Division I. That's your first year where your education (and 5 requirements) are meant to let you explore so you can really narrow down what you want to do. First years have the highest drop out rate because of the set up. Personally I feel like it's really been worth it. I'll be starting my Division III project next semester and I'm really excited to be doing MY own work without classes in the way.
I joined the QCA my first year (Queer Community Association) and I ended up not having a lot of time for it. However they seem to be a very active group with a lot to do. They're very supportive and a good group of loving individuals. There are a lot of groups on campus, Amnesty International, Pre-Law group, Japanese Cinema/Manga groups, Knitting Circle, Improv Troupe, a Jewish group I don't remember them all, but there are a ton. Most people leave their doors open and unlocked during the day. They like to socialize and hang out. During the evening when people are around in the dorms and mods (on campus apartments) people will just hangout in each other's rooms and relax. Most people sleep with their doors closed and presumably a lot locked. It is a college campus after all, but it's also a safe campus. We're in rural MA, pretty safe space. There are a lot of sports, but they don't get much attention. We have a spectacular equestrian team, but they have to house their horses in nearby stables or at Mt. Holyoke. Our ultimate frisbee team (the Red Scare) does very well and is quite competitive. We also have men and women's basketball and soccer (they're not terribly competitive however). There are a lot of parties. It's pretty easy to find a party almost every weekend, but none of them are MASSIVE and get out of hand. It's easy enough to call Public Safety if they're too disruptive after quiet hours or seem dangerous (which rarely happens). We don't have frats or sororities. People can live together in the on campus apartments which are gained through a lottery system (for every semester attended you receive one lottery point which you pool together with friends to get a mod!).
We're all a bunch of pot smoking, liberal, open to anyone who wants to meander onto this campus, pretentious, hippies.
Hampshire is a giant farm that happens to be close to the two most amazing towns in Western Mass - Northampton and Amherst. I...
Hampshire is a giant farm that happens to be close to the two most amazing towns in Western Mass - Northampton and Amherst. It's fantastically small in that you know everyone. Bad in that you see everyone. It seems to me like everyone makes a big deal out of nothing, primarily because there's very little to worry about (e.g. Div I, race). There also seems to be this ridiculous feeling that "radical" and "open-minded" are synonyms. That said, Hampshire is an awesome school with a LOT to offer.
Ugly, ugly people (honesty points?). To be fair, it's more that (for some absurd reason) Hampshire kids don't feel like they have to be presentable. Which is great, yay for what's on the inside. But it seems really disconnected from the real world. On the other hand, there are tons of attractive people at the other four colleges (cough, UMass). But in all seriousness, Hampshire kids are wicked smart.
If you can motivate yourself to learn, if you don't mind kids that smell, if you love to party it up, if you think you'll explore the area and *not* confine yourself to Hampshire, then you'll love it here!
Most are. There really aren't so many 'hippies' per se, but there is a lot of weed. What most kids don't realize is that there's as much drinking and partying at Hampshire as any other school. Everyone is extremely lazy, so you have to learn to take it upon yourself to be productive. And not everyone's a liberal, but moderate or conservative views are not accepted.
Classes are intimate and fascinating. You'll call professors by their first name, and generally you'll find an easy time forming relationships with them. There are no grades, only evaluations. Although this gives you more room to screw up, it also gives you a lot more room to learn. Hampshire courses are VERY challenging; don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's only a question of whether you can motivate yourself to learn. If you can, the end result will be an absolute wealth of knowledge. If you can't, you'll have a lot of free time.
Doors are always open. Everyone is really into meeting new people, so that's always helpful in making friends. Hampshire Halloween is the shit; so is Spring Jam. Lots of mod parties to go to, there's always beer around, and I'm not sure what sub-free kids do. Maybe it's Monopoly.
Generally? Fun-loving hippies that love to smoke weed. Liberal students, liberal professors. Lazy students, lazy professors.
student body is a real disappointment and TOO SMALL, after a few years (or months, for that matter) people start hooking up w...
student body is a real disappointment and TOO SMALL, after a few years (or months, for that matter) people start hooking up with the same people as their friends (which can cause a lot of drama) cattiness is a problem, rumors are a problem even though most people would never admit that because they think that sort of talk is below them when IT'S JUST AS BAD AS ANYWHERE ELSE...campus can be isolating, saga (the cafeteria) is okay but the food is often boring, campus housing is okay but could be better, there are NOOO frats, sororities, or sports teams (the frisbee team doesn't count...get serious). it's easy to get really fucking bored here, basically. if you are the type of person who needs to stay busy to feel sane, consider somewhere else....or get a job of campus, hang out at the other schools, etc.
i pretty much hate most of them. people glare at you if you try to dress up and look nice, i think it's because they're still angry at the popular people in high school who were mean to them and want to maintain their image of hampshire as its own private haven for those poor, hurt, misunderstood, "intellectual", trust-fund babies. people don't smile enough here. people aren't kind enough here. they're too busy with their fucking work, not to mention talking talking talking about shit that doesn't matter in the real world anyway. i know i sound bitter, but a lot of people here really do suck, and they're hard to put up with...finding cool people to hang out with is pretty hard when you're just sort of a "normal" person with no particular agenda...like i said i'm just here for the film program.
for the most part, yes. there aren't many down-to-earth, fun people here. there are many, many very, very egotistical people here. there's a lot of intellectual bullshit, and people can be very judgmental.
the only reason i'm here is because of the film program...it's good, i really have genuinely liked all of my professors in the area. learned a lot. they're raising money to expand it right now. people do good work in the field, we have some alums who've done some great things in the industry. since it's small, you can actually get into the classes (anybody who tells you otherwise is just whining and not trying hard enough...it's EASY to get into ANY class at hampshire, just be persistent, you might have to wait another semester, but just e-mail the goddamn professor and they'll keep you in mind for the future). If the film program wasn't enjoyable and inspiring, i'd be fucking out of here.
I partied a lot my first and second years. I had fun, but that was mostly because i got to drink and dance. parties just sort of pop up out of nowhere, they're not really advertised. a lot of people just chill and smoke pot on the weekends, some people stay sober (but you wouldn't really know it sometimes)...but the campus in general is boring with not a lot to do at night and on the weekends if you don't want to get trashed. get off campus, go to a nice restaurant in noho or amherst, go for a nice drive, go shopping, something..... people don't date here, they have sex with random people or they're in relationships, as far as i can tell. dating is too "traditional" (not to mention, yeah, i'll say it.......classy) for a lot of people here.
a. pretentious, wealthy assholes who do a lot of cocaine and/or b. self-involved hippies who eat organic greens and tempeh every day and/or c. intellectuals, intellectuals, intellectuals who CANNOT stop talking about their taste in books, music, etc.
Hampshire is a very liberal school. It has a very politicized environment. Justice, freedom, equality, and social change are...
Hampshire is a very liberal school. It has a very politicized environment. Justice, freedom, equality, and social change are central to the discourses that take place in the school. The curriculum is very interdisciplinary. It provides the student with a very broad framework of study, and it allows him/her to develop a more accurate methodological approaches to the topics in which they engage. Hampshire College is part of the five colleges. This adds new dimensions to the academic experience at Hampshire College. Unlimited amount of recourses (classes, libraries, research and faculty) is available to Hampshire students through the other close by colleges.
The relation between the student and the professor is one of the most distinguished aspects of Hampshire academics. The structure of the degree allows the student to work closely with the faculty and to obtain continues attention from them . Furthermore, students are allowed a large degree of space in regard to the topics which which the deal throughout their academic degree. This exposes the student to a variety of new topics that bear large influence on the trajectory of his/her academic degree.
Stereotypes about college students are not indicative of what the college or its students are like. The type of stereotype that develop about the college are usually informed by personal experiences which, when shared with other in the college or outside of it, perpetuate these stereotypes.
The school is a pretty good size, but by about the 2nd year all social groups start to collapse onto each other and everybody...
The school is a pretty good size, but by about the 2nd year all social groups start to collapse onto each other and everybody knows everyone and nobody has any secrets.
There are three different types of Hampshire students: hippies, hipsters, and geeks. Most people are a combination of those three types of people. The hippies are the activists, people who work on the farm, people who don't wear shoes, people with dreadlocks, people who eat lots of organic food. The hipsters are the "cool" people. They dress like they are poor, they are very confined to their social groups, and know more obscure things about whatever you like. The geeks like role-playing games, video games, comic books, and anything else that could be considered "geeky".
We have a good portion of crazy liberal students.
This is a great school to do whatever you want, as long as you know what you want to do. The Five Colleges and Division III project are the most appealing aspects of the Hampshire academic life.
We've got a bunch of crazy liberal students.
best thing about hampshire is the well-rounded education you get in each class, which usually does not bias a certain politic...
best thing about hampshire is the well-rounded education you get in each class, which usually does not bias a certain political or social perspective. through the community here most students get exposure to sensitive subjects such as sexual and gender-based identity, class issues, and race politics. hampshire requires students to be self motivated and committed to finding the answers through their own resourcefulness. good training for the real world. amherst is a great little college town with an interesting subculture for almost everyone. good coffee, good food, good wilderness to explore, and other outside activities. excellent community within hampshire as well, with the only down side being the slight isolation from the other 4 schools within the 5 college consortium. which is actually another great benefit of going here- you can take classes at any of the other 4 schools, use their libraries, eat at their dining commons, participate in their student groups. the biggest controversy as of late was the movement to make hampshire an antiracist institution. hampshire is mostly white, and has not shown a huge effort to support students of color. students of color represented by the source group and cultural center drafted up a list of demands and have been negotiating the progress with the administration.
no. only the first years embody these stereotypes because they haven't yet figured it out. hampshire relies on self-motivation, but it certainly has some structure. it's easy to succeed if you work hard and are independent, and the successes experienced by hampshire students are usually more informed and full-bodied. hampshire students become excellent, driven members of their fields.
my professors are some of my best friends. we go out to dinner together, go to the bar, spend time talking about shared interests. they hold the bar very high for students, but certainly get to know their students and tailor their classes accordingly. most hampshire classes are extremely rigorous and interesting.
hampshire is a haven for pot-smoking and acid-taking hippies with huge dreadlocks. hampshire has no structure. hampshire is alternative.
Hampshire has a lot of hidden gems within it. The OPRA (Outdoor Programs and Recreational Athletics) Department is wonderful...
Hampshire has a lot of hidden gems within it. The OPRA (Outdoor Programs and Recreational Athletics) Department is wonderful with amazing teachers and people who run it. Take at least one of these classes your first year so that you get hooked because most students don't take advantage of it. The writing department is incredible, though very very small. But the professors and teachers are some of the best writing mentors I've had.
I think Hampshire students like to think that they're politically aware, and that we're a very socially just and active community, but I don't think we are as much as we'd like to believe. Many students are and there are many student groups on campus to address issues, but overall, I think most students don't take an active interest in the outside world, due to lack of time, mostly. It is a very leftist and liberal school.
I love Hampshire, but unless you're a very motivated ans self-driven person, you may struggle here. My last year, I had little direction from my advisers, which was fine, because that works for me. But many people fall through the cracks because there's too much freedom to get lost in.
No. Of my four years at Hampshire I've been friends with people who are straightedge and those who are not. Many people I know do smoke pot and/or drink, but it has only gotten in the way of one friendship. The majority of students on this campus are committed to their work and relationships on this campus.
I rarely miss class or even want to miss class, because I'm very involved with my studies and committed to my learning. You don't go to a $45,000/year school if you want to slack off. And don't, if that's your plan, because you're taking away a spot for someone who is really excited about the academic opportunities that Hampshire has to offer. My favorite classes have been my writing classes. Though I don't recommend taking two writing courses in one semester, and neither do advisers, I've done it. Will Ryan is incredible, and Will Ryan with Bob Rakoff is even better. Also, Michael Lesy, though a little crazy and harsh at times, presented me with some of my most challenging courses and helped me develop some of my strongest pieces of writing.
One of the biggest groups on campus is Red Scare Ultimate Frisbee. We are NOT as intense as people think we are, and we love having new people join our team, which is open to everyone. Red Scare has been one of the constants in my Hampshire career. Though it is a close knit community within Hampshire, I was able to break out of it somewhat, expanding my social sphere. HCEMS, a great program with great people always looking for new members and new leadership. People party a lot, but partying doesn't mean drinking, necessarily. With the Ultimate team, we're usually gone most weekends for tournaments. But when I'm here, there's usually a party, or music, or a party with music, going on. Boston is close. NYC is close. But even Northampton has some big and small names come to town to play shows.
That everyone uses drugs and/or drinks a lot.
Hampshire's administration uses lack of finances to not do anything they don't want to do and they don't put student needs as...
Hampshire's administration uses lack of finances to not do anything they don't want to do and they don't put student needs as a priority. Housing sucks (and some isn't even up to fire code), there is no student center, and the administration refuses to be actively anti-racist.
The student body could maybe be described as 1/3 who care about thing like anti-racism and politics in a progressive or radical way, 1/3 who are frighteningly conservative, and 1/3 who don't care and are absent from the discussion. Students are friendly though.
Not as much as they probably used to be. Hampshire costs so much money that the people who can go here represent a much more upper middle class homogonized culture.
Are pretty good. People don't take advantage of the ability to do independent studies as much as they could. Professors seem to go on sabbatical or leave the school a lot which can make it difficult when there are not many people in each field.
There are plenty of options at Hampshire to create the social life you would want, though as at most places, mindless drinking and dancing dominates the social scene. The outdoors program is pretty awesome though, providing opportunities to kayak, rock climb, hike, canoes etc.
Hippies or hipsters, liberal, radical, progressive, druggies,
The best thing about Hampshire is that almost all of the professors work very hard to help the students do well at whatever t...
The best thing about Hampshire is that almost all of the professors work very hard to help the students do well at whatever they are interested in. I wish there were more science students and fewer pretentious art students. Most people have not heard of Hampshire, but those who have typically know about and respect the projects that we students do. It feels like it is in the woods, but is 15 minutes by free bus ride from one small city and two large towns. The administration is evil, and should be bypassed whenever possible, which is most of the time. A recent controversy about whether Hampshire is "anti-racist enough" swept the campus, polarizing it in a very negative way. As much as anyone here complains about Hampshire's problems, 90% of students here are fierce proponents of Hampshire, singing its praise to all who will listen - outside of the college grounds.. At no other school can students even think of changing things; here, students can make things change.
Any student who cannot motivate him or herself will bomb at Hampshire. There are interwoven social clusters of every persuasion from LGBTQ to chefs to geeks to frisbie players. There are some cliques, but mostly people find groups of friends and these groups interact freely with other ones. Students are painfully aware of everything left, and painfully ign'ant of anything right. Nobody talks about future earnings, everybody talks about current and future projects.
We have a number of great teacher, whom students can work very closely with. The Arts, social science and Humanities schools are overcrowded and contain the usual mix of brilliant students and pretentious masturbatory fluffheads. Cognitive science has a mix of brilliant and boring teachers, with very dedicated students. Natural Science is far and away the most student friendly, productive and academically rigorous of the schools. It is the only school to have weekly meetings to discuss school-related events and projects, and has somehow been both the most progressive in its educational policies and the most reasonable.
Athletic events are nigh on non-existent, except for frisbie and some soccer. Most people party on weekend nights, and that can mean anything from dinner party to rager. There are no frats or sororities. Theater, live music and poetry regardless of quality, always draw a large crowd. The only reasons to go off campus are to take classes at one of the other Five Colleges, or to go to the Amherst Brewing Company or The Moan and Dove.
That they are either stoned slacker hipsters or highly motivated individual learners, with no middle ground. Many students spend their first year as the first, then transition quickly to the second.
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